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City says drinking water at all DPS schools now "lead-safe"

Drinking water fountain.
Gabrielle Emanuel
Michigan Radio
Drinking water fountain.

All 94 school buildings in the Detroit Public Schools Community District meet federal standards for lead in water, the city’s health department announced Monday.

It had spent months screening tap water at all the city’s schools for lead and copper, to make sure they met U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

“And we’re now confident that children who are drinking water in DPSCD schools are drinking water that’s lead-safe,” says Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the health department’s director.

El-Sayed says the testing was funded through a Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation grant.

“We offered this one-time opportunity to get tested,” he said. “We’re recommending that school test on an annual basis, and we’re working to facilitate that in the future.”

Schools now have a testing “protocol” if they want to keep it up, El-Sayed says. But it’s now up to individual schools to decide that.

El-Sayed says the full testing results—including results from the city’s charter schools, and schools in the Education Achievement Authority—and more detailed information will be announced in the “near future.”

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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